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mesaSteeler
08-18-2009, 09:58 PM
(Steeler questions only - mesa)
http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/chat/_/id/27889
August 18, 4:00 PM ET
Chat with James Walker
James Walker
(4:00 PM)

Hello everyone. Let's talk football and have some fun this week.
Joe (Cincy)

Big James,Your opinion of the Steelers OL is well documented and I'm generally in agreement. My question is this - isn't the OL good enough to win another Super Bowl? Granted, they aren't the strongest unit in the league, but they were good enough last year and should be a little better this time around, as should be the skill players around them.
James Walker
(4:10 PM)

That is what the coaching staff suggests, Brian. As most people know by now, I question how high the ceiling really is for this group. I could be wrong, but the first preseason game didn't change my opinion.
Pete (Southern Cali (by way of Bmore))

James - A) You the Man. B) Anybody else feel that Mendenhall (and the whole Steelers offense) is way overrated?
James Walker
(4:12 PM)

A) I'm not the man. I just try to inform and entertain AFC North fans in my blog. B) I don't think the Steelers offense gets much pub. The defense gets it on that team and it's well-deserved.

The Steelers O-Line debate aside, IF Big Ben were to be injured this season, how big of an impact do you think this would have on the Steelers' results for the season?
James Walker
(4:25 PM)

It would depend on the severity of the injury, Matt. If it's a game or two, I think Pittsburgh is prepared to handle that scenario. But if it's more extreme, the Steelers couldn't go on and win a Super Bowl without Roethlisberger.
Keith (Rockvile, MD)

How patient should us Steelers fans be with Mendenhall? Most backs taken in the 1st couple of rounds last year have flashed a lot more than he has.
James Walker
(4:28 PM)

Rashard Mendenhall is lucky that Willie Parker is around and entrenched as the starter. That actually puts Mendenhall in a good spot to come along gradually and without too much pressure. Still, it's time this year that he shows what he can do.
Gregg (Rochester, ny)

Who is the next Steeler to sign a contract? I think it should be Ryan Clark. Your thoughts.
James Walker
(4:30 PM)

It's probably going to happen next year. But Clark is the favorite.
evan (lexington,ky)

In your opinion, who will have a bigger impact on the Steelers defense this year - Lawrence Timmons or William Gay and why?
James Walker
(4:35 PM)

Timmons. Linebackers in Pittsburgh's defense always have tons of opportunities to make plays.

Tom (Maui)

To form an opinion of the Steelers O-line based on the first pre-season game is a bit futile considering they were without Hartwig and Stapleton. How much of an impact will having these two healthy have on the "gelling" of this unit?
James Walker
(4:41 PM)

You misread my statement, Tom. My opinion comes from watching them all last season and not seeing the Steelers make any changes to the o-line in the offseason. I just said the first preseason game didn't do anything to change that opinion I had from last season. Stapleton will have to compete for his spot when he comes back. The Steelers need Hartwig ASAP.

Ben vs. Eli? Winner: Philip Rivers.
James Walker
(4:58 PM)

If Bill Williamson in the AFC West blog is brave enough to debate that point, I'll take his lunch money as well.
Andy (Columbus)

Is there any chance that one of the Steelers undrafted rookies make the final squad?
James Walker
(5:04 PM)

Isaac "RedZone" Redman has the best chance. But Pittsburgh is so deep at tailback (Parker, Mendenhall, Moore) that Redman might have to be good at special teams as well. It will be interesting to see if he can keep up this current pace.
simon (portland)

Are Santonio Holmes days as a punt returner over?
James Walker
(5:11 PM)

It depends on if anyone else can do it. The Steelers want to take some pressure off of Holmes, because this could be the year he becomes Ben Roethlisberger's No. 1 target.
Sean (lyndhurst oh)

what separates team scouts (Steelers, Philly, NE, NYG) from scouts in KC, CLE, STL? How can some teams constantly find talent in low places
James Walker
(5:14 PM)

This is a question that can't be answered in a sentence or two. In a nutshell, the good teams understand its system and which players fit into it. The bad teams have trouble doing so. Some of it also is getting a feel for work ethic and character. Some teams do that better than others.
Jesse (Roanoke, VA)


Everyone, thanks again for your time. Remember to check the AFC North blog for more info on your favorite teams.

El-Gonzo Jackson
08-19-2009, 12:04 AM
I love the question about Mendenhall and that most 1st round backs have flashed more than him.

What a dumb question.....Mendenhall was injured for most of the season. :doh:

Plus, Darren McFadden is proving to be Reggie Bush, Felix Jones wasnt much different than Rashard, Jonathan Stewart is fearing that his foot injury in college is reocurring. The only guys that you can say were productive were Chris Johnson and Matt Forte.

Have some faith.

tony hipchest
08-19-2009, 12:25 AM
I love the question about Mendenhall and that most 1st round backs have flashed more than him.

What a dumb question.....Mendenhall was injured for most of the season. :doh:

Plus, Darren McFadden is proving to be Reggie Bush, Felix Jones wasnt much different than Rashard, Jonathan Stewart is fearing that his foot injury in college is reocurring. The only guys that you can say were productive were Chris Johnson and Matt Forte.

Have some faith.if the titans and bears had parker and moore, it is likely that forte and johnson wouldnt have seen as much time, let alone, even been drafted by their respective teams.

mendenhall was a luxury pick.

UltimateFootballNetwork
08-19-2009, 12:26 AM
I love the question about Mendenhall and that most 1st round backs have flashed more than him.

What a dumb question.....Mendenhall was injured for most of the season. :doh:

Plus, Darren McFadden is proving to be Reggie Bush, Felix Jones wasnt much different than Rashard, Jonathan Stewart is fearing that his foot injury in college is reocurring. The only guys that you can say were productive were Chris Johnson and Matt Forte.

Have some faith. Uh, while there may be questions about McFadden being one-dimensional, he still flashed big play potential and scored 4 TDs in limited action. Stewart scored 10TDs at 4.5 YPC and hasn't missed a game yet and Felix Jones showed big-time pro-bowl potential on 8.9 YPC (!!!) even though it was only 30 carries.

The question for those guys is "Can they do it consistently?"

The question for Mendenhall is still "can he do it?"

tony hipchest
08-19-2009, 12:30 AM
The question for Mendenhall is still "can he do it?" if he couldnt, do you really think the steelers woulda wasted a first round pick on him?

steelreserve
08-19-2009, 12:32 AM
It's hard for me to believe people can judge Mendenhall based on what, half a game and an injury? If he has another season-ending injury THIS year, then maybe you can start to worry he's injury-prone or unlucky or whatever. But it seems to me like a freak accident, and not anything career-changing like an ACL.

I'm not sure if I agree about McFadden. I saw more Raiders games on TV than I would've liked last year, and McFadden's problem was that they barely let him on the field. He kicked ass whenever they actually gave him the ball -- something like 800 total yards on single-digit touches per game.

tony hipchest
08-19-2009, 12:39 AM
it had nothing to do with being injury prone or unlucky.

the ravens had a bounty out on mendenhall and ward. their main focus was injuring our players as opposed to winning.

probably explains why they lost 3 straight to us, and we won the superbowl.

UltimateFootballNetwork
08-19-2009, 12:48 AM
if he couldnt, do you really think the steelers woulda wasted a first round pick on him?
Tim Worley? Troy Edwards?

It happens. It happens to most teams fairly often.

tony hipchest
08-19-2009, 12:54 AM
Tim Worley? Troy Edwards?

It happens. It happens to most teams fairly often.

yeah.

and winning 6 lombardi trophies happens to most teams fairly often, too.

troy polamalu? ben roelthisberger? heath miller? santonio holmes? lawrence timmons?

thanks, but i will keep rolling the dice with mendenhall and hood. :thumbsup:

UltimateFootballNetwork
08-19-2009, 01:00 AM
yeah.

and winning 6 lombardi trophies happens to most teams fairly often, too.

troy polamalu? ben roelthisberger? heath miller? santonio holmes? lawrence timmons?

thanks, but i will keep rolling the dice with mendenhall and hood. :thumbsup: As I said, missing on a draft pick happens often to most teams, and the Steelers with their stable front office and 6 SBs are not most teams.

If Mendenhall busts, he would only be the first one since Edwards and that still makes the Steelers better at drafting 1st rounders than probably every other team.

It's a bit of "rah-rah" cheerleading to assume that they must continue to bat 1.000.

The Lakelander
08-19-2009, 01:00 AM
if he couldnt, do you really think the steelers woulda wasted a first round pick on him?

Uh .... Tim Worley :wink02:

Actually, I'm trying to remember a 1st rounder we landed at RB who amounted to anything other than Franco?

tony hipchest
08-19-2009, 01:07 AM
As I said, missing on a draft pick happens often to most teams, and the Steelers with their stable front office and 6 SBs are not most teams.

If Mendenhall busts, he would only be the first one since Edwards and that still makes the Steelers better at drafting 1st rounders than probably every other team.

It's a bit of "rah-rah" cheerleading to assume that they must continue to bat 1.000.you gotta roll with the hot hand, bro. thats what winners do.

anything else would be uncivilized.

tony hipchest
08-19-2009, 01:13 AM
Uh .... Tim Worley :wink02:

Actually, I'm trying to remember a 1st rounder we landed at RB who amounted to anything other than Franco?other than mendenhall, im trying to remember any rb's we have even drafted in the past 10 years. i got cedric humes, famous amos, and fuuuuuuuu.

im sure i am forgetting another one or two.... maybe not. :noidea: verron haynes?

JackHammer
08-19-2009, 02:55 AM
you gotta roll with the hot hand, bro. thats what winners do.

anything else would be uncivilized.

I see Hulk Hogan trying to sell me deodorant.

UltimateFootballNetwork
08-19-2009, 03:59 AM
you gotta roll with the hot hand, bro. thats what winners do.

anything else would be uncivilized. OK, but at some point betting on perfection becomes foolish.

Galax Steeler
08-19-2009, 04:50 AM
Uh .... Tim Worley :wink02:

Actually, I'm trying to remember a 1st rounder we landed at RB who amounted to anything other than Franco?

I hope he don't turn out like Tim Worley did.:doh:

revefsreleets
08-19-2009, 12:29 PM
I LOVE Bouchette's comment on all the Mendenhall hating: He siad Franco Harris had a TERRIBLE training camp in '72. How'd that turn out for him and the Steelers?

Can we PLEASE let Mendenhall have a hundred carries or so before we start slapping the "bust" label on him?

Also, just food for thought here, but Troy Edwards rookie season he caught 61passes for 741 yards and 5 TD's. By way of comparison, Santo had 55 catches last year for 821 and 5 TD's, and that was his THIRD year (his rookie season was 48 for 824 and 2 TD's...anyone want to trade Edwards for Holmes?), so even one full season isn't enough to accurately gauge a players real worth.

El-Gonzo Jackson
08-19-2009, 01:32 PM
Uh, while there may be questions about McFadden being one-dimensional, he still flashed big play potential and scored 4 TDs in limited action. Stewart scored 10TDs at 4.5 YPC and hasn't missed a game yet and Felix Jones showed big-time pro-bowl potential on 8.9 YPC (!!!) even though it was only 30 carries.



I love the game of Jonathan Stewart and hope his foot injuries are not recurrent and he becomes the next Kevin Jones.

Felix Jones only had 30 carries like you say and I bet nobody in Dallas is asking if he is a bust yet.

I said Darren McFadden would be Reggie Bush lite before he was drafted and his flashes of "big play potential" are very R.B. lite esque. Fast guys that cant run between the tackles are made for college and struggle in the pros. You can see that with your eyes and not have to rely on their DVOA.

SteelMember
08-19-2009, 02:03 PM
Uh .... Tim Worley :wink02:

Actually, I'm trying to remember a 1st rounder we landed at RB who amounted to anything other than Franco?

Noticed Worley's name being brought up a lot. That guy had more off field issues then I can remember, and maybe still does, so you can't judge him strictly on football skills when judging him as a Steeler.

And besides, how many 1st round RB's do you need when they practically stole Bettis form the rams? Before that...Foster...Morris...those guys were pretty decent. Wouldn't you say? So why would we need to draft anyone that early? :noidea:

UltimateFootballNetwork
08-19-2009, 02:11 PM
I love the game of Jonathan Stewart and hope his foot injuries are not recurrent and he becomes the next Kevin Jones.

Felix Jones only had 30 carries like you say and I bet nobody in Dallas is asking if he is a bust yet.

I said Darren McFadden would be Reggie Bush lite before he was drafted and his flashes of "big play potential" are very R.B. lite esque. Fast guys that cant run between the tackles are made for college and struggle in the pros. You can see that with your eyes and not have to rely on their DVOA. I'm confused. Stewart becomes the next Kevin Jones? Stewart looks to have much higher upside than Kevin Jones.

But your Felix Jones comment makes my point. He has had only a few more touches than Mendenhall and the question with Jones is now is he merely a weapon or can he be a superstar. Mendenhall, for whatever reason, hasn't shown anything near what Felix Jones showed.

Take a look at the Dallas Morning News on Jones...It's a far cry from what's coming from the Steelers regarding Mendenhall.

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/spt/football/cowboys/columns/stories/081809dnspocowinsider.392bbac.html

El-Gonzo Jackson
08-19-2009, 02:12 PM
Noticed Worley's name being brought up a lot. That guy had more off field issues then I can remember, and maybe still does, so you can't judge him strictly on football skills when judging him as a Steeler.

And besides, how many 1st round RB's do you need when they practically stole Bettis form the rams? Before that...Foster...Morris...those guys were pretty decent. Wouldn't you say? :noidea:

You are right that Bettis was a 1st rounder that we stole, but the only ones we drafted in a long time were Franco, Walter Abercrombie, Worley and Mendenhall.

As for Foster, Morris, or even Erric Peagram.........those guys benefitted more from a solid O line much inthe way Timmy Smith did for the Redskins in the super bowl.

SteelMember
08-19-2009, 02:29 PM
You are right that Bettis was a 1st rounder that we stole, but the only ones we drafted in a long time were Franco, Walter Abercrombie, Worley and Mendenhall.

As for Foster, Morris, or even Erric Peagram.........those guys benefitted more from a solid O line much inthe way Timmy Smith did for the Redskins in the super bowl.

Ok. I'll go with that thought.

The reason they may have benefited was because they were more concerned, and concentrated on the lines early in the draft. So by that reasoning they built such a good line (through the draft) that practically anyone could be successful. Wait, isn't that exactly what you were for in the 2000's? :chuckle:

Having 17 round drafts back then could of had a little to do with it also...

SteelMember
08-19-2009, 02:50 PM
Not that it matters, but here's one. Your asking yourself...Who? :chuckle:

1979

Round - Pick - Overall - Name - Position - School
1 28 28 Greg Hawthorne RB Baylor

El-Gonzo Jackson
08-19-2009, 03:05 PM
Not that it matters, but here's one. Your asking yourself...Who? :chuckle:

1979

Round - Pick - Overall - Name - Position - School
1 28 28 Greg Hawthorne RB Baylor

Nice pickup. We were on a Baylor run back then. Abercrombie, Hawthorne, Frank Pollard were all from Baylor. I still think Mendenhall is going to turn out to be a great pickup and less than half a season is too early to judge him.